In Daughter of the Dark, Louise Cusack picks up the tale of Katarene, and more importantly, her child Glimmer in this continuing tale in the Shadow Through Time Trilogy, begun in Destiny of the Light. Katarene was the mother of the Catalyst, the being who would bring the Four Worlds together in the prophesized Maelstrom. The Four Worlds are comprised of the fire world of Haddash, the dark, muddy world Ennae home of Pagan, Magoria (our world) and the Airworld of Atheyre.
Katarene has passed into the air world while her child is brought to Magoria, our world, with her champion Pagan. Pagan is the brother to Talis, Katarene’s Champion and husband. When they arrive in our world, they arrive through the water portal at the feet of mortician Sarah. Sarah, in opposition to her occupation, helps to bring Pagan back to health and takes both him and Glimmer into her life and her household. As the novel unfolds, Pagan and Sarah act as a surrogate father to Glimmer, who develops in rather abnormal ways. Though considering the prophesy surrounding Glimmer, the developments may be more understood.
Other members of the four worlds come into the story, in particular Kraal, the dark ruler of the fire world of Haddash. Initially, Kraal seems the typical dark overlord who rules through his minions. However, as the novel unfolds, Kraal becomes a more interesting and fleshed out character. I particularly enjoyed the inversion of the Christ story that Cusack employed by having Kraal take the form of a man and experience the world with all of a man’s senses and viewpoints.
The only part I thought hampered the book was the romance between Pagan and Sarah. It was a pretty obvious turn in the story for them to get together and in Sarah’s eyes, Pagan was simply too much of the Ultimate Man. There was tension between the two, but the culmination of their tension and relationship was bit predictable. As I said, this was the only problem I had with this otherwise satisfying novel.
All in all, this is an adequate continuation of The Shadow Through Time Trilogy. I particularly enjoyed the little twists on some conventions she employed and think Cusack’s work would fit nicely on the shelves of US bookstores, should her books become available here.
Visit Louise Cusack on the Web at http://www.louisecusack.comReviewed by Rob H. Bedford
© 2002 Rob Bedford